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PM Modi to start hectic diplomatic tour, to visit Vietnam, China


New Delhi : Prime Minister Narendra Modi sets off on Friday a bilateral visit to Vietnam and to attend the annual summit of powerful G-20 grouping in China’s Hangzhou where India is likely to seek concrete measures to check terror financing and crackdown on tax evasion.

Modi’s first destination will be Vietnam from where he will leave for Hangzhou on September 3 to attend the G-20 summit on September 4 and 5. The Prime Minister will return to India on September 5 and will again leave for Laos on a two-day visit to attend the annual India-ASEAN and East Asia Summits.

In Vietnam, Modi will hold wide-ranging talks with top leadership of the resource-rich country to deepen ties in key areas of defence, security and trade, and ramping up India’s engagement in oil exploration.

India’s ONGC Videsh Limited is engaged in oil exploration projects in Vietnam for over three decades and there may be announcements about new projects in the sector during the bilateral visit, which is taking place after a gap of 15 years.

At the G-20 Summit, India is likely to raise a host of issues ranging from choking terror funding and checking tax evasion to cutting cost of remittances and market access for key drugs.

On the sidelines of the Summit, Modi will have bilateral meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping and attend a BRICS leaders’ meet. A number of other bilaterals are being finalised, Secretary (West) in the Ministry of External Affairs Sujatha Mehta told reporters.

She said issues like global tax reform, climate-friendly financing and market access for antibiotics are some of the issues likely to be discussed at the meetings. Niti Ayog Vice Chairman Arvind Panagariya is India’s sherpa for the G-20 and some of the issues were already discussed in the run-up to the summit. Mehta said there will be deliberations on containing terror financing at the G 20 summit.

There are likely to be detailed deliberations on automatic exchange of tax information at G-20, besides discussion on ways to tackle slowdown of the global economy. India has already agreed to the Automatic Exchange of Information Convention of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), an intergovernmental economic organisation of around 35 countries.


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